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Global AI Ship Traffic MSFS GAIST Ultra V3

Version 3 of the Global AI Ship Traffic project with additional ship models, more AI routes, as well as light, smoke, and wake effects on most models. The package contains around 900 unique ship models from all over the world and around the double when...


Global AI Ship Traffic MSFS - GAIST Ultra Version 3

This is Version 3.0 of the Global AI Ship Traffic Ultra. More than 400 new ships have been added since last version bringing the number of unique ship models close to 900 and the number of ships including repaints close to 1800. The route coverage has been expanded increasing traffic density though focus is as usual to have a diverse ship traffic according to what you could see in each region. To reduce load on computer systems, the ship routes have in this version been included as separate regional packages, so you only need to install the routes in the area where you intend to fly. Also the ship models have been prepared to work with a future Real Time Version of the project under development.

Among new models in this version are several new cruise ships, different types of fishing boats complementing the existing fleet of regional fishing vessels from around the world. Also, the increasing number of ultra large containerships is reflected with new models and the fleet of oil and gas tankers expanded, and a number of ferries have been included in particular in the Pacific North West and in North Europe.

More than a hundred ferry routes are covered with their specific ferries, and you will find naval exercises with Navy ships from most regions. Watch a full-scale NATO landing exercise on the West Coast of the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark or the Brazilian or Chinese navies doing the same in their respective areas. Watch the departure of a Tall Ship race from Saint Malo, Kiel or Sandefjord or an around the world sail race departing from Gothenburg... Go looking for Maersk Alabama in the exact spot she was attacked by pirates of the coast of Somalia as later depicted in the movie Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks. More than 40.000 ship movements ensure that the sea is no longer empty. 

Models and textures by Erwin Welker, Jean-Pierre Fillion, Knud Kristoffersen, Martin Rueedi, Larry Robinson, Dexter, Milton Shupe, Manfred Siedler, Bernardo Barroso, Paul Donnelly, Finn Kristoffer, Didier ‘‘Lagaffe’’ Puentes, Andrew Thomsen, Kevair, Robystar, Antonio Diaz, Sebastien Viale, Alberto Garcia, Cxema, Pascal Dumat, Rick Keller, Lazarus Starkweather, Dave Garwood, Darren Lane, Jan de Jong, Henrik Nielsen, and more

A great thank also to the many beta testers and a special thanks to the shipping company DFDS www.dfds.com  for providing documentation to make realistic models of their fleet of passenger and freight ferries and to DGzRS Die Seenotretter for allowing to model their 28m rescue boat Nis Randers. You can find more information about their see rescue operation and support them here: https://www.seenotretter.de/

Idea and conceptualization Henrik Nielsen, KL791

For support and additional information please follow our threads on the project on forums.flightsimulator.com, avsim.com, fsdeveloper.com, sim-outhouse.com in English, on flightsim.no in Norwegian and Danish, on voovirtual.com in Portuguese, and pilote-virtuel.com in French. 


Before installation please remove all old versions of Global AI Ship Traffic / GAIST. However if you use https://flightsim.to/file/21430/global-ai-ship-traffic-great-lakes  you can leave this active as this version 3 of Global AI Ship Traffic GAIST Ultra does not cover the Great Lakes.

To install please unzip and drop the include files in your Community folder. You must as a minimum have the folder GAIST Ultra, which contains all ships, and one route package installed, but you can choose to have one or several route packages installed depending on where you fly. Ensure you traffic settings for Ships and Ferries are 5-10% to avoid conflicts with other AI ship traffic including default.

The route packages are:

Gaist-Africa-Routes – including routes covering Africa East and West Coast

Gaist-Mediterranean-Routes - including routes covering the Mediterranean Sea, North Coast of Africa, and the Black Sea

Gaist-Euwest-Routes - including routes covering Western Europe from Gibraltar to Arkhangelsk

Gaist-IndianOcean-Routes - including routes covering from Suez Channel through the Red Sea and over the Arabian Gulf to India East Coast

Gaist-Asia-Routes - including routes covering East Asian waters from Malacca Strait to Japan

Gaist-Latam-Routes - including routes covering Latin American coasts

Gaist-NorthAmericaCaribbean-Routes - including routes covering Caribbean Sea, Mexican Gulf and US and Canadian East and West Coast

Gaist-AustraliaOceania-Routes - including routes covering Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania

Some longer routes pass from one region to another so you might see more traffic by having neighboring packages installed.

Once again, make sure to remove old versions of Global AI Ship Traffic before installing.

Known issues:

  • Models do not have hard decks - it will eventually be reintroduced later
  • Effects will display best with ground wind setting between 5 - 15 knots. Below this wind speed not much to see, above they might look exaggerated-
  • The MSFS engine is simple and not very stable; ships will sometimes be unstable or making strange movements if they meet other objects
  • Not all ships appear in harbor areas with heavy scenery; some prioritization by the sim engine can prevent some ships from showing
  • The project includes more than 15.000 textures and almost 900 model files, we do expect some glitches - if you find something really disturbing, please send me a PM here or comment on forums.flightsimulator.com
  • If you experience freeze at start up of a flight reduce the number of regional traffic packages active as the number of traffic bgl files have caused issues for some users depending on system and settings. Reducing traffic to have just one or two regions active at the time should solve the issue.
  • Please notice that some models are intentionally not linked to routes at the moment but they will be needed once we launch a Real Time Version of the traffic.

Copyright Information
Models in Global AI Ship Traffic are the result of long time collaboration between a group of friends and developers. Please respect copyrights. Models are copyright of Henrik Nielsen, Erwin Welker, Jean-Pierre Fillion, Knud Kristoffersen, Martin Rueedi, Larry Robinson, Dexter, Milton Shupe, Manfred Siedler, Bernardo Barroso, Paul Donnelly, Finn Kristoffer, Didier ‘‘Lagaffe’’ Puentes, Andrew Thomsen, Kevair, Robystar, Antonio Diaz, Sebastien Viale, Alberto Garcia, Cxema, Pascal Dumat, Rick Keller, Lazarus Starkweather, Dave Garwood, Darren Lane, Jan de Jong and more.

Referencing models in other projects or any other use or sharing of the models included in Global AI Ship Traffic / GAIST can only happen after written permit by the respective copyright holders for the individual models.

carrier ferry shipping ship cruise ai traffic
Sim Update 11
Initial Release
March 06, 2021
Last Updated
1 month(s) ago — 3.0



File Size

2.20 GB



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  • Updated to version 3.0

  • Updated to version 2.15

  • Updated to version 2.10

  • Updated to version 2.05

  • Updated to version 2.0

  • Initial File Release

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© Henrik Nielsen - All rights reserved. Any reupload or redistribution of this file without the author's prior written consent is forbidden. This Microsoft Flight Simulator add-on was created by Henrik Nielsen and shared in Scenery Enhancements » Others for Microsoft Flight Simulator.


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4.88/5 - Based on 116 reviews

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Thanks for all the downloads, comments and suggestions over the last month since the launch of this first version of Global AI Ship Traffic for MSFS 2020. As it has taken up quite some time to follow and respond to messages on different forums, I have updated the FAQ above and asked admin on flightsim.to to disable comments on this forum. Comments will be enabled again once there is an update of the project, but due to the size of the project I do no expect this to happen until late in 2021.

For support please start by reading the description above, the FAQ and eventually follow the link to forums.flightsimulator.com in the description if your concern is about performance issues.

In case you have further need for support or want to share ideas please visit the threads about this project on:

www.avsim.com, www.sim-outhouse.com, forums.flightsimulator.com, and www.fsdeveloper.com - in English
www.pilote-virtuel.com - in French
www.flightsim.no - in Norwegian and Danish
www.voovirtual.com - in Portuguese

On these sites I will post news and help with support when time beside my day time job, family and other activities in life allow it, but you can also find support from other simmers as the threads are usually quite active.
I was expecting a pretty bad FPS drop with this but I haven't even seen one. My PC has a GTX 1060, i5 4690k & 16GB ram so I was pretty surprised.

Fantastic mod.
Great material to give more life in the landscapes. Congratulations for the hard work !!!
What a great work. Using since P3D.
Let's hope that MFS improve effects in order to help the developer(s) of this project.
That is super fantastic how much do you spent your work hour for this and OMG its free

Thank a lot
This addon is great seeing ships in real life, but it causes such an FPS Drop when your near some ships, when multiple load it can drop and stutter a lot! Removing the addon the stutter doesn't occur. 😞
You gotta have AI Ships, because it makes it feel like real life! Thank-You! 😀
Hi, I was wondering if you have any Great Lakes shipping? I haven't spotted any yet but have a friend who is a captain on a freighter.

I'd also love to see ferries from the mainland to Mackinac Island in Michigan.
I tend to fly at greater heights in Commercial airliners so at what point do these ships become invisible, IFR Low altitude airways probably put me at or around 11-14000 feet at the lowest and at these altitudes the Oceans are devoid of ships so would using this add on make them visible?
Is it normal that most of the ships are visible and bright at night with no lights around at all?
Thank you Henrik this is terrific to see all the ships of the ocean, I am in Australia and Sydney and Newcastle are busy ports ..luv it ..just if you can put some solid helipads on each ship so we can attend the crew with services would be great fun again terrific work mate.
Hmmm, ich habe einige weiße Schiffe in der Gegend von Las Palmas de Gran Canaria... Mache ich irgendetwas falsch? Fehlt mir ein Pack?
Vielen Dank für dein Engagement, ich weiß das zu schätzen!
Another nice video with the project and the best helicopter in MSFS:
Je suis à la recherche des baleines à bosse et baleine noires et autres animaux marins comme les Orques....Quelqu'un peut nous donner des coordonnées d'emplacement pour les voir car pour l'instant j'en ai vu aucun ? merci 😊
I'm not sure if the lack of anything around Scotland has to do with an error I'm seeing in msfsaddons gaist_msfs_v1_CVT_ It is there in the folder and it's contents are
"dependencies": [],
"content_type": "SCENERY",
"title": "GAIST_MSFS_V1",
"manufacturer": "",
"creator": "Henrik Nielsen (KL791)",
"package_version": "0.1.0",
"minimum_game_version": "1.7.14",
"release_notes": {
"neutral": {
"LastUpdate": "",
"OlderHistory": ""

Any idea if that's the problem? Or are there just no ships and boats around Scotland? (hope there are and there's just something I'm doing wrong 😊 )
Are there any placed around the coast of Scotland?
Great stuff!

Thanks for making this available in MSFS.
I made a Suez Canal Scenery using this great MOD

still live or not its a good effort to liven up the seas

These items are currently on the list and will be processed soon!
Suggestion, bugs and ideas for the future.

  • Version 3.0 December 30, 2022

    Added new ships and routes
    Corrected minor mistakes on some models
    Divided routes according to region to allow for loading of traffic related to only one geographical region and improving performance

  • Version 2.15 March 12, 2022

    Effects have been added to around 90% of the ships. This is however still a beta version. Final version expected in April 2022.

  • Version 2.10 September 25, 2021

    Amount of ships included has increased by almost a quarter to 1052; all in native format. Several new routes are activated around the globe. Next update including effects and additional models and traffic expected end October.

  • Version 2.05 September 11, 2021

    Version 2.05 has additional models added bringing total to around 825. It is mostly ferries, off shore ships, and some naval vessels which have been added.

  • Version 2.0 September 04, 2021

    Global AI Ship Traffic V2 1.0 now only contains native MSFS gltf format models with PBR texturing and significantly improving performance compared to the old version based on files carried over from FSX and P3D.

  • Launched March 06, 2021

    Initial release of this file just launched. Welcome aboard!

Frequently Asked

Questions? Find your solution here.

How to install this?

Unzip and move to your community folder. Ensure that your traffic settings for Ships and Ferries is between 5-10%.

if you use Addon linker to install you might get an error message; so far all users reporting this problem have managed to solve it with a new installation, but please contact Addon linker's author if you need support with installation with addon linker or use the above method which will work.

If you have the old V1 installed make sure to remove GAIST MSFS V1 and the GAIST MSFS V1 CVT folders before installation. Also remove any other previous versions of Global AI Ship Traffic.

Will this affect FPS?

This depends on your settings and system. Models are made low poly and with low draw calls and are from V2 in native MSFS format so impact should be minimal.

How can I find the ships?

I recommend you to use Little NavMap besides the sim - it will show you the presence of ships in the vicinity of where you fly including the name of the ships.

Remember to activate display of ships in LIttleNavMap - It is done clicking on the boat icon in the menu bar.

Are there ships all over the world?

There are routes along most coastlines and some routes crossing Oceans, however the focus is on coastal areas. There are approx 30.000 ship movements programmed - spread them over the globe and comparte to around 300.000 ships in the real oceans... don't expect hundreds of ships everywhere - it would kill of performance.

There is generally no or few ships docking in harbors - due to the different sceneries used by different simmers the risk of conflicts is high if we let ships go into harbors. Most of the ships will be found between harbors on the major shipping routes.


No ships show up, what could be wrong?

If no ships show up there can be three main reasons...

You have an installation or setting issue

You fly in an area without or with limited ship traffic

The sim does not load the ship traffic properly

To check if you have an installation issue go to an area with a lot of traffic. I recommend departing from Calais, France flying towards Dover, UK - you should see both ferries and cargo traffic. If no traffic appears check the following - Did you install the unzipped GAIST_MSFS_V2 correctly in your community folder? if yes, did you adjust settings for Ships and Ferries  5-10%? You find that setting under general options traffic.

Of course you can be flying in an area with limited or no ship traffic. The routes are mostly along the coasts and they are preprogrammed following realistic patterns but this in not real time and to avoid performance issues traffic is not as high as in the real world. You can use LittleNavMap to see where the ships are during your flight. In order to see where the routes from the Global AI Ship Traffic are download the AI Ship Locator V2 by Carl Vokes from simviation.com. It contain most of the routes included in the project. 

Finally, the sim engine is not very stable when it comes to ships  - you might experience that ships do not show up as programmed and if you load the same flight another time they do show up - it happens in particular if you start your flight at a moment where the ships are waiting to depart, but it can also happen that the sim simply don't load a particular route or ship on a route during a flight. This has been reported to Asobo, but it might take time before it get high on the priority list. After all it is a detail in a complex sim.





I am looking at the sea and see a ship but it doesn't appear in the simulator... Why?

This is not a Real Time package, however, the scheduled routes simulates realistic shipping routes, but with the difference that you will find little traffic in the middle of the Ocean as few people fly there and it would spend computer resources. Also you will not find many ships in ports to avoid conflicts with the different sceneries installed by different users and because the MSFS Sim engine doesn't work well in narrow spaces like ports.

I can't find any ships on rivers or e.g. the Great Lakes, why?

For the moment - September 2021 -there is a bug in MSFS placing all AI ships at ocean level meaning that the AI traffic included for e.g. Amazonas, the Panama Canal, Mississippi or the Great Lakes will move below the water surface. Hopefully Asobo will correct and the traffic will reappear.


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